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Can You Paint Over Clear Coat On A Car?

For a car, the paint job has many layers. There is the bare metal which some primer is sprayed onto. After that, the base coat goes on.

This is the main color that you see. On top of the base coat goes a clear coat. The clear coat protects the paint under it and the metal panels of the car.

Most people might not realize that there is a clear coat on their car and just think the mainbase coat is the final layer. One question that comes up a lot though, is can you paint over clear coat on a car?

After reading this article you will have a better answer to this question, which has many opinions.

Can you paint over clear coat on a car?

Can you paint over clear coat on a car?

Reason To Repaint Car

You may be wondering if the clear coat is there to protect the paint underneath it, then why would you need to repaint the car. Well over time the clear coat can wear and damage can occur to the pain below it.

Also, if your car ends up with deep scratches, that can’t be buffed out, then you might need to repaint a section of your car.

One other reason is you might just get tired of the color that the car currently is. Maybe you have found your dream car model and year wise, but it isn’t the color you want. In that case, you would need to paint it.

Should you Paint Over Clear Coat

Now that you know why you might need or want to repaint a car it is time to get to the question at hand which is should you paint over the clear coat.

Well, the short answer is no because the clear coat is there to protect the paint and therefore makes it hard for other things, including paint, to stick to it.

However, there are exceptions to this no rule. Most of the time, the clear coat does not need to be completely removed to paint over it and most of the time the car does not need to be completely primed again.

If you are just performing touch up work, then you only need to scuff the clear coat to make the new paint adhere.

However, if you don’t scuff it enough or paint too thick, then the new paint will be noticeable. Generally, you have to paint a larger area, then just the scratched part to blend the paint well.

If you are changing the color of the car however, then it is a good idea to not paint over the clear coat. By painting over the clear coat on large areas, it can lead to waving and the old color showing thru.

This is because you need a lot more paint to cover the old color, especially if there is a major color change.

In this instance, you will want to completely remove the clear coat and make sure you are down to the old base layer. Then you will want to apply a primer before adding the new base coat color and new clear coat.

Should you paint over clear coat?

Should you paint over clear coat?

How to Paint Over Clear Coat

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If you decided to paint over the clear coat, then there are still a few steps you should take.

First, make sure your car is completely clean. The reason you do this is you don’t want any imperfections caused in the new paint or for your car to get scratched while you are trying to repaint it.

Then you have to scuff up the old clear coat to make sure the new paint will stick. The way you scuff up the clear coat is you take some sandpaper or a sanding block. You get it wet and then go over the areas that you are going to paint.

It is a good idea to tape off the trim and other areas that you don’t want to be sanded, so you don’t mess up other parts of the car.

You could also remove the part of the car that is getting repainted if it is a large area and you want to do that.

The grit of paper you use should start out with around 300 and work over it. Then you want to use something finer like an 800 to make sure it is extra scuffed.

You don’t have to remove all the clear coat, but you want to make sure you get it scuffed good.

Also, if you are going to paint over the clear coat you want to make sure the sanding is done evenly. If you get down to the base coat at any part, then you will have to remove all the clear coat or it won’t look good.

Once it is all scuffed up good you want to do one last good washing of the area to make sure all the loose particles are gone. Then it is time to get the new paint out.

A lot of people will use a spray gun or spray paint to paint over the scuffed up area. You just want to make sure to use smooth even motions so the paint will go on evenly.

You don’t want it to go on too thick in spots or to run. After you are done painting it you need to let it dry completely.

Then you can apply some new clear coat to protect your new paint job. If you took your car apart, then you can put it back together after the clear coat has dried.

If you only taped off, then make sure the paint and the clear coat is drybefore removing the tape.

How to paint over clear coat?

How to paint over clear coat?

Conclusion

So, to answer the question of can you paint over clear coat on a car, the answer is no. However, there are sometimes when you can get away with it if you do it right.

If you are changing the color or doing a large area, then you really should remove all the clear coat and reprime to get the best paint job.

If you are doing a smaller area of painting though or an area that is hard to see, then you can get away with painting over the clear coat if you do it right. Be sure to scuff up the old clear coat good to make sure the paint will stick well.

Also, be sure to take your time and apply the paint evenly to prevent warped looks. As long as you follow these steps in most situations you should be able to paint over your clear coat and not have people notice.

What Is Different Between Magnaflow vs Flowmaster?

Whether you drive a truck, car or muscle car you might need to replace your muffler at some point. Or maybe you just want to ramp it up a bit so the neighbors can hear you coming down the street. The question is, which one should you use?

You need to think about a few factors when trying to decide on which muffler to use – the Magnaflow or the Flowmaster. Some drivers prefer a muffler with big sound. For them, the bigger sound is an integral part of the driving experience. For other drivers, they may be more concerned with the reputation of a certain company. They may feel that they can rely on a brand and that is more important than sound.

Both MagnaFlow and Flowmaster are good mufflers and will do the job well. Both of these companies are based in the United States and were founded within 2 years of each other. The similarities pretty much end there.

Let’s break down the integral parts of the muffler with each company.

Magnaflow vs Flowmaster

Magnaflow vs Flowmaster

Muffler Construction

Magnaflow – Magnaflow constructs their mufflers to be straight through. They use a perforated pipe and stainless-steel acoustical packing material. This helps to generate a loud and deep sound from the muffler.

Flowmaster – Flowmaster has manufactured their mufflers with a chamber style design and they do not use any acoustical material. They make use of baffles, metal plates, that help to manage the sound waves. The result is a sound that is more of a rumble.

How Long to Achieve a Consistent Sound?

With the straight through design of the Magnaflow, it can take up to 400 miles before you will start to notice a consistent sound quality. Magnaflow mufflers will give you a very loud exhaust sound because the straight through style is least effective at reducing noise. Because Flowmaster uses a chamber style design, you can expect the muffler noise to be consistent from the very first use.

What about the scavenging effect?

The Magnaflow muffler is stainless steel with perforations. This means that there are no restrictions for the exhaust gas that flows through. The result is that the exhaust gas flows through the muffler at normal speed. Faster moving exhaust gas equals great horsepower.

With the design of the Flowmaster, there is a different effect on the exhaust gas. The chambers actually slow down the exhaust gases. To help counteract this, the Flowmaster has added the baffles. The baffles create a scavenging effect by helping to create a vacuum. This vacuum helps the gasses to leave faster.

What about the sound?

Since the value of an aftermarket muffler is the sound it produces, you need to decide what sound you are hoping for. Many race and hot rod fans prefer the Flowmaster muffler. This is because their mufflers are known for their consistent tuned sound profiles. The baffles that Flowmaster use, are expertly designed to cancel out excess noise, while scavenging more exhaust from the cylinders.

Magnaflow is becoming known for producing a “smooth, aggressive rumble”. In fact, the mission of the company is quality, power and great sound. This is achieved by using a straight through design with perforations. The inside is packed with stainless steel wool to help the acoustics.

How do they look on my car?

Magnaflow has designed their mufflers completely out of stainless steel and polished muffler cases. This way, your car will look good from every angle. And to help you install their mufflers at home by yourself, Magnaflow includes a kit with hardware to bolt the Magnaflow to your factory exhaust hanger.

Which muffler is right for my car?

Flowmaster vs Magnaflow Sound Comparison

Magnaflow and Flowmaster both have multiple mufflers in their lineups. You can choose the one that is right for your vehicle, the type of driving you do and the sound you are hoping to achieve.

Magnaflow– the mufflers in this company are categorized by car and the type of driving. You will also have to choose if you want the exhaust to face out the rear or the side.

  • Performance series-also called MF series. This series produces a mild to moderate sound and aims to achieve a balance of sound between the interior and exterior.
  • Off-Road Pro-this series is good for off road trucks. It is designed to be lighter weight and takes increased ground clearance and modified suspensions into account
  • Competition Series- this series uses a larger diameter pipe. It is intended to maximize exterior noise. The result is an aggressively loud sound.
  • RockCrawler-this series is intended for the Jeep Wrangler. It is designed to accommodate aftermarket bumpers and give ground clearance for off road driving

Flowmaster– this company categorizers their mufflers based on sound level and power. The kits for Flowmaster include both rear and side exit options so you can try both on your vehicle before making a decision.

  • The Force II-this is considered the basic muffler system. The sound is very mild.
  • The FlowFX-this series is still street legal and it produces a very aggressive sound.
  • The Outlaw Series-this series is the most aggressive in the Flowmaster family. This muffler is constructed using a single chamber Super 10 muffler. The only thing louder would be no muffler at all.

Clearly both the Magnaflow and the Flowmaster are quality aftermarket mufflers.

Magnaflow are made with stainless steel and have perforations. They also use acoustical material packed inside. This design helps to generate a loud sound. However, you will need to get about 400 miles in before it reaches the desired sound consistently. The mufflers for Magnaflow are based on the type of car you will be driving and the type of terrain you will be on.

The Flowmaster mufflers are built using a chamber style design without any acoustical material. They use baffles to help manage the sound waves and scavenge for exhaust gas. Their mufflers are classified based on the sound level and power you hope to achieve

Now you decide.

Now that you have an idea as to how each company designs their mufflers, you need to decide which one is right for you, your vehicle and your desired sound effect.

How Does A Carburetor Work?

One key part of your vehicle is the carburetor. The carburetor is located in the engine, and the carburetor is one of the key components that keep the engine running properly. In this article, we are going to look at what the carburetor actually does, and more importantly how it works. Knowing how the carburetor works are important because you can use this knowledge to diagnose things if your engine starts to run funny. Being able to solve the problem of why your vehicle isn’t running right yourself can save you lots of money from having a shop figure things out for you. That is why it is important that you keep reading so you can learn exactly what the carburetor is and how does a carburetor work.

How Does A Carburetor Work

How Does A Carburetor Work?

What is Carburetor?

Before getting into detail on how the carburetor works in your vehicle we are first going to talk about what it is. A carburetor or carb for short is a mechanical device that is located in the engine. The job of the carburetor is to control the fuel and air mixture in the cylinders of the engine to make sure the engine will run correctly. Nowadays most vehicles actually don’t have carburetors. Instead, cars today have fuel injection and sensors and computers are able to control the air and fuel mixture in the engine. Before fuel injection was invented though, it was carburetors that controlled this. This made them a key part of the engine.

Why is it important?

The reason that the carb was a key part of the engine was that if it wasn’t working right, then the engine would not run smoothly. That is because you need the proper amount of fuel and air in the engine to get the proper combustions. If you have too much fuel and not enough air, which is known as a rich mixture, then you are losing efficiency and the combustion will be too big which can damage the engine. If you don’t have enough fuel though, or too much air, which is known as running lean, then the engine has to work harder to produce the amount of power that it should produce. These reasons are why it is important to have the proper mixture and why the carb is a key part of the vehicle. Even today these concepts are important even with a fuel injection vehicle.

How does the carburetor work?

So, now that you know why the carburetor is so important we can move on to how it works. Once you know how it works you will understand how it is able to keep the air and fuel mixture right in the engine without having all the electronics and computers inside of it like modern fuel injection. The basic carburetors work like the following. Air comes in thru a pipe and into the engine. The pipe is shaped like a capital T and halfway down the pipe, there is a valve. When you first start the vehicle this valve, or choke, closes almost all the way allowing more fuel into the engine. This allows for a richer mixture so the engine can start.

The way the fuel is drawn in is the air passes thru a narrower part of the pipe called the venture. The air being forced thru the narrow kink causes the air pressure to drop and the drop in this pressure causes suction to form pulling the fuel in. In the bottom part of the pipe, there is the throttle. This is what swivels and controls the actual amount of fuel getting into the engine. When you hit the gas pedal it moves and more fuel goes into the engine allowing you to go faster. The air and fuel mixture flows into the proper cylinders.

The gas in a carburetor system is kept separately from the main fuel tank to prevent too much from going in. It is held in a mini-fuel tank that uses a float-feed chamber. As gas flows into the engine the level in the chamber drops and so does the float. When the float gets to a certain point it opens a valve and lets more gas into the chamber from the engine. Then the level raises and closes itself off once the float is back at the proper level. This explanation of how a carburetor works is the simple basic explanation. The thing is there are a lot of different carburetor designs, but they all work in a similar way. The carburetor has actually been around since the late 19th century, so a lot of changes have been made to it, but the main point of it has stayed the same.

Carburetor differences

So, now that you know the basics of how a carburetor works we can talk about some different kinds. The main way a carb is described is how the air enters it. In the muscle car world, most carbs are downdraft, meaning that the air enters from the top and moves down. For motorcycles, on the other hand, carbs are sidedraft meaning that the air moves in from the side. The reason for the difference is that motorcycles have less space and making the carb sidedraft makes it more compact.

The other big differences that you can find with carbs is the venturi size. The size of the venturi is important because it controls how much air gets thru and in turn how much fuel. In a carb, it is the job to mix the fuel and air evenly and to turn the liquid fuel into a gas. The venturi is a key part of this. By adjusting the size of it you can make sure to get a more proper mixture of gas and fuel for that particular vehicle. That is why it is important to match a carb up to an engine that it was designed to work with. The carburetor is responsible for fuel mixture and they are not interchangeable from one type of engine to another.

Conclusion

You can also get into more detail of slide carbs versus butterfly carbs which are different designs that allowed fuel and air indifferently, but this idea is a lot more advanced than this article is going to go. The key part of this article is so you can know how a carburetor works. It is also important to know the purpose of the carburetor as well if you are going to truly understand how it works. Now after reading this though you have a good basic understanding of what a carburetor is and what it is used for in your vehicle. On top of that, you know the basics of how a carburetor works and even though there are a lot of different types of carbs they all serve the same purpose and follow the basic principles that you now understand.

How To Reset Power Folding Mirrors?

Most larger vehicles these days have mirrors that can fold in. These are pretty common on SUVs and trucks from many different brands. The main reason for this is that by being able to fold the mirrors in, it can help you get into tighter spaces. For some, their garage wasn’t made for a big vehicle, and being able to fold the mirrors in gives just enough space to fit the vehicle into the garage. On older vehicles the folding mirrors were manual, but on newer ones, it is now a powered function. What do you do if your power folding mirrors stop working right though? Well, the answer is you have to reset them. In this article, we will look at how to reset power folding mirrors, and also look at some other problems that might be going on with your power folding mirrors if resetting them doesn’t work.

How to reset power folding mirrors

How to reset power folding mirrors

Why Reset Power Folding Mirrors

So, before getting into how to reset power folding mirrors, we are first going to look at why you might need to reset them. There are a view reasons, and some reasons require a different kind of resetting than other reasons. The first reason why you might need to reset the mirror is if it is not folding in and out. The next reason is if something blocks their path while folding. The third reason is if they get manually folded or unfolded, and the last reason is if they vibrate while driving.

If loud noises happen while folding or they struggle to fold properly, then you might have to do more than just rest them. If they will not fold or make sounds while folding after resetting, then your problem is deeper. We will cover the deeper problem later, but first, we will get into how to reset your power folding mirrors.

How to reset power folding mirrors

So, depending on the vehicle you have, you might have to do different things to get the power folding mirrors to reset. The easiest though you can reset on your own, some vehicles you might need a special tool to reset them which means going to a shop or dealer. Before paying out money though to reset your power folding mirrors, you should try to reset them yourself.

For some power folding mirrors, all you have to do to reset them is to use the buttons on your vehicle and fold the mirrors all the way in and then back out. The controls you need are a little button that you push to the left or the right to select the mirror, and then an arrow button that moves the mirror in or out. You will want to move the mirror all the way in first and then all the way out. A popping sound might occur, especially if you are resetting the mirrors because they were manually folded. For the simplest of problems, this will reset the mirrors back to the correct position. This simple method of resetting doesn’t always work though.

If this method doesn’t work, or if your vehicle doesn’t have these controls, then you might have to reset the mirrors with a scan tool. Some vehicles have a computer function to reset the mirrors. Depending on the coding of the system you might be able to use a scan tool that you have depending on how good of one it is, but for others, you will need a special scan tool from the manufacturer which means going to a shop. With the scan tool, you hook it to the OBD2 port and scroll thru to the mirror reset option with the buttons. Once their you press it and if it will work with your vehicle, then it will move the mirrors to the proper position. If it doesn’t work though, then you will most likely have to go to a dealership to reset them.

What if Resting doesn’t work

What if these two methods for resetting the power mirrors don’t work though? What if there is still one stuck or one that won’t fold? Well, then your problem might be something else that can’t be fixed with resetting. The main two things that could be wrong is that the motor for the power mirror has gone bad, or that gear inside the mechanism has broken. On a lot of vehicles, the motor that they use is cheap and the gears are plastic. This means that if you use the folding mirror option a lot of your vehicle that it could have worn out and broken. To find out if it has you will need to take apart the assembly.

When you take apart the assembly for your power folding mirrors, it will be pretty obvious if a gear is broke. You will find plastic pieces scattered about. If you don’t find any broken gears, then you should test the motor. To test the motor all you have to do is disconnect it and then connect the wires to a 9v battery. The motor should try to run if it is working. Also, check the fuse to the motor if you don’t find any problems with the assembly itself. If these things are working, then you should put it back together and will have to have someone else look at it. If the motor is not working, however, or there are broken gears, then you can replace them. If you are replacing the gears, it is best to buy metal replacements, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking again and your power folding mirrors stop working again.

Conclusion

So, now you know how to reset power folding mirrors and also what else could be wrong if resetting the mirrors doesn’t work. You also know the reasons you might need to reset your power folding mirrors. Having power folding mirrors is nice because that means you can fit your larger vehicle into tighter spots or fold them in so you don’t have to worry about your vehicle getting damaged. However, if they stop folding properly it can be annoying till you get them to reset or fixed. Luckily now you know the steps to take to reset your power folding mirrors or where to take your vehicle to have it done.

What Does SEL Mean On A Car?

One of the terms that sticks out at times about a car is SEL. But what does SEL mean? SEL stands for Special Edition Limited. It’s a certain type of trim that is included in most vehicle brands like Ford. If you think trim is just a design thing, you’d be surprised to know that it actually goes beyond that. In this article, we’ll dig into what exactly is the difference between an SEL trim and the other trims on a car.

So, What Does SEL Mean On A Car?

As mentioned, SEL stands for Special Edition Limited. Before we go any further, this shouldn’t be confused with special limited edition or the like. That pertains to rare cars or a limited amount of models of a certain car that was manufactured. SEL is considered to be a type of trim. While it may be a certain type of design, known what trim you have will depend on what’s under the hood.

For example, let’s take a look at the Ford Focus. More specifically, let’s take a look at the 2018 Ford Focus SEL Hatchback Model. The standard engine of this SEL model is a 2.0-liter Ti-VCT GDI I-4 FFV engine offering 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. Other Ford Focus models with a different trim will have engines with more or less horsepower and torque.

What Is A Trim Level?

A trim level is an identification system used by car manufacturers based on the level of equipments and special features that come with the vehicle. The equipment and features that are fitted on a particular vehicle will depend on the options package or any individual options that was ordered by the buyer. For most car models, a trim level indicates which equipment and features are considered standard. The buyer themselves can add this standard equipment using individual options or as part of a package deal. The trim that has the least equipment and features is known as the “base model”. Likewise, the trim that has the most equipment and features is considered to be the “fully loaded” model.

As mentioned, one of the main differences of each trend is what’s under the hood and the inner workings. A trim level can include mechanical differences such as engines, suspension, or all-wheel drive systems. Some car brands will use a different car model rather than consider it as a trim level. Which means that the difference between models and trim level can vary depending on the brand. One such example is Volkswagen’s Golf model. VW could have marketed the Golf GTi model as a standalone or as a trim within the Golf model itself.

The Trim Naming System

The trim levels are often based on a pair of letters. For example, SE or GT. The naming can even be a mix of letters or numbers such as Z28 or ZR5. It can even be a simple word or two like Executive Edition or Deluxe. One of the earlier designations can be dated back as far as the 1960s. For example, Ford used the letters GT for its 1965 Mustang model. Just four years earlier in 1961, Chevrolet included “SS” as part of their new Impala.

General Motors began designating trim level identification by using the alphanumeric coding for their models. These included the Camaro Z28, Oldsmobile 442, the Buick GS, and the Z71 on the Suburban and Tahoe. Nissan began using a name for a trim for the highest trim level of two of their models: the Cedric and the Gloria. That name would be known as “Brougham”. These types of models were sold throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Options Package

Manufacturers will sometimes sell options packages that will consist of a bundle of options. They will typically sell them at a discounted price. Buyers can even choose individual options that can comprise of their own custom package deal. These packages include, but are not limited to the following:

Trim/Appearance Package: This package can include special paint colors, interior upgrades, and exterior decals. Some of the packages that were offered in the past would include pinstriping, two-toned paint, vinyl roof covers, and bumpers painted the same color as the body itself.

Sports Performance Package: These include upgrades in the engine and handling system. This also includes a front and rear spoiler system, upgraded brakes, and a limited slip differential. These packages may often be found in SUVs or light trucks. At the same time, a package can also include racks with tie-downs for transporting off-road vehicles and other equipment.

Towing: In this package, this includes large cooling fans, heavy duty radiator, revised axle gearing, and extra transmission cooling provisions.

Safety: The safety package can consist of additional air bags. Also included in the package may be seat belt pre-tensioners, collision avoidance system or AEB, electronic stability control, and adaptive headlights.

Handling: This handling package may coincide with the sports performance package. The elements include stiffer springs, shock absorbers, and anti-roll bars. Larger, but lightweight wheels, or higher grip tires.

Navigation: This may include your GPS with turn-by-turn instructions or satellite navigation.

Is An SEL Trim Better Than Any Other?

Choosing the right trim may or may not matter to you. But it can depend on the certain type of features you want in your vehicle. If you’re in the market for a new car and find a model that interests you, see if there is an SEL model available. Remember, what is included in an SEL trim will depend on the car brand or model. It may even be the best trim of a model or it may not.

Conclusion

Now that you know what SEL means on a car, you can also familiarize yourself with the other trims that are offered by other car brands. This can also help you determine which trim is best for you if you’re dead set on buying a specific vehicle model. Remember, each trim has features and functions that are different from each other.

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What To Do When Your Car Is Hard To Start But Runs Fine?

If your car takes more than 4 seconds to start, you may have an issue you need to deal with. If it’s extremely cold outside, this may be more of a common, weather-related issue and not much to worry about.

If the weather is no different from any other day when your car has started without issue, then you should troubleshoot the problem. Even though your car runs just fine today, it could take a turn for the worse and start giving you even more trouble if the issue is left alone.

What to Do When Your Car Is Hard to Start But Runs FineT

Before You Begin, There Are A Few Questions You Should Answer

Before you go inspecting the parts of your car, it’s best to start by thinking about the situation you have when your car is difficult to start.

For example, is it most difficult to start your car in cold situations? Is it difficult to start it when it’s hot outside? Are there any strange sounds or smells when you start your car or are driving? Are there any warning lights such as a check engine or service engine soon light? These can all give you invaluable clues. If any of these lights are on, it wouldn’t hurt to get a free diagnostic from an auto parts store in your area.

Troubleshooting the Problem

If your car is slow to start, there could be any number of things wrong with it. Troubleshooting will take some time, so prepare for that. First, determine if the problem occurs when the car is hot, cold, or at all times. This will help narrow down where you should look.

Where to Begin Looking

Before anything else, look for signs of a leak. Ensure that all of your wiring is clean and without nicks or bites. An overly worn or chewed wire can easily cause this type of problem. The same can be said for hoses. Corroded connections can also cause a slow start.

Begin by checking the wires connected to your starter. These should be two of them and they should be thoroughly looked over for damage. The connections should also be tested to ensure that they are well-maintained and corrosion-free. The started itself should also be inspected for signs of wear. Too much wear may mean you need a new starter. If your car does run fine, and there are no signs of leaks, smells, or bad wiring, this could be your issue.

Next, move on to check your battery and all of its connectors and wiring. Measure the health of your battery to make sure it isn’t failing.

A bad battery will make your car start slower and slower over time as it outputs less and less power. A battery over three years old should be tested at least once a year and this service will be offered free with an oil change at many shops (though you may have to ask for it.)

A battery with less than 70% of its original functionality is “failing” though it may continue to work “adequately” until it falls to 50% functionality. If you want to refill your battery, the best battery tender is excellent solution.

Check and Clean Your Sensors

Temperature and air flow sensors can begin to give bad readings if they are allowed to become dirty over time. This is a simple thing to fix. Locating the sensors may be the most difficult part but you should be able to do so with the help of your vehicle’s manual.

Test Your Fuel Pump

After inspecting your wiring and hoses for damage or leaks, consider testing your fuel pump. This is done by placing the key in the car and turning it “on” but not so that the engine turns over. Turn it off. Repeat two more times and on the third try, turn the car all the way on so that the engine turns over. If it starts in 3 seconds or less, you’ve solved the problem for now. What you have, in this case, is a weak fuel pump that needs to be replaced.

Further, if it is very cold and you have a weak fuel pump, your car may completely refuse to start on the first try or two if the fuel supply is very low (below an eighth of a tank.)

In this case, adding fuel will allow the car to start “normally” again, but also reveals where your problems are most likely coming from.

Check Your Filters

One of the most overlooked causes of a slow start are clogged filters. This could be the oil or air filter. These both need regular servicing or replacement. Failing to do so can make it hard for your car to do what it needs to run, hence the slow start. This is a warning sign that if these filters remain dirty or clogged, things will begin to get worse or break down.

Why Your Car Starts More Slowly in The Cold

When it’s cold out, your car will start slower than it normally would. Below certain temperatures, it may not start at all even if it’s in great shape.

This is because your engine oil thickens up and your battery outputs less current. Your engine will also need more fuel to get going and stay going.

All of this adds up to a car that will not start quickly though isn’t in need of repair. If, however, the problem persists when temperatures are well above freezing, you have a problem.

Conclusion

There are many, many things that could cause a slow start. The good news is that most of them are easy to troubleshoot on your own. However, if none of the above are the cause of your issue, you may need the help of a professional to find and fix the problem.

That said, if your car is running fine, the problem is likely to be small or localized. Further, all of the above steps should be done annually anyway, in order to keep your vehicle in good condition. The above troubleshooting options should help you locate the issue and give you peace of mind.

How to Troubleshoot: Engine Cranks But Car Won’t Start

Having an engine that cranks but won’t actually start can be incredibly frustrating. However, there are a number of easy fixes and troubleshooting steps that may help you find and fix the problem. Also, the following steps assume that you have already checked to see if you have a faulty starter. The starter may be faulty if the engine cranks inconsistently or the started itself makes strange or grinding sounds when you attempt to start your vehicle.

Engine Cranks But Car Won't Start

Engine Cranks But Car Won’t Start

Take The Weather and Fuel State Into Account

In extremely cold weather, if your fuel is low, it can be hard for your car to start up. This can mean that your fuel has become less liquid than usual or you just don’t have enough fuel for your car to start as a cold car require more fuel to start and run than a warm car would. If your fuel stores are very low, the weather is well below zero (including wind chill), or your car has been having trouble starting up in cold weather recently, this may be your issue. Thought it may still be wise to go ahead with the rest of your checks to make sure there isn’t another, obvious and more easily fixed issue.

Make Sure You’re Using the Right Key

Newer cars have keys that communicate with them in order to start. A faulty key or key without these capabilities means that it may not start. However, in these cases, the engine will typically not crank.

Check for Odd Sights and Sounds

Do you smell burnt rubber or fuel? Is there smoke or black soot? Both of these can be signs of a leak or flooding. Make sure to clean everything you can and perform proper maintenance to correct these issues before proceeding.

Check Warning Lights and Codes

If your check engine or service engine soon light is on, check the codes. Even if neither light is on, your car may still output certain maintenance codes for things it knows are “wrong” but that it hasn’t realized are preventing things from working correctly. As your car won’t start and if you don’t have a digital code reading device handy, there is a way to read codes “manually” and this method is typically outlined in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on its manufacturer’s website.

Check Your Battery

Check Your Battery

Check Your Battery

After checking for error and maintenance codes and finding none, check your battery. Is it corroded? Are all of the connectors and wires intact and in good shape? If not, can you repair, clean, or replace them? Once you have done so, it wouldn’t hurt to see if that has fixed your issue. Corrosion can lead to more issues than most people would think.

If no damage is found on the outside, check the function of the battery. It may not be dead, but it could be dying. Had your vehicle been slow to start before it stopped completely? If so, that is a sign that your battery has been dying for quite a while. Even if everything was fine, a battery can lose functionality quite quickly once it has reached the three-year mark and even faster after five years. You must have the best battery maintainer to recharge your battery can to start.

Is Your Security System a Little Too Good?

Occasionally and advanced “anti-theft” security system can prevent a car from starting. If you have recently had a small car accident, fender bender, bent your mirrors, hit your car with anything, or pressed the “panic button” your security system may have engaged and cut off the fuel supply.

Check Your Wiring, Sensors, Filters, and Fuses

Wiring can be chewed overnight causing untold damage and frustration but it’s an easy thing to spot and should be inspected regularly anyway. Sensors, especially temperature sensors, can become blocked, dirty, or corroded and will need to be cleaned or replaced id the damage is too great. Hoses should also be inspected. Even a slow leak could be the culprit.

Filters, both oil and air, can become blocked and prevent a vehicle from starting. They may also be installed too tightly and cause an error with another system or read as blocked even when they are new or clean.

Fuses may blow out or become damaged and need to be replaced. Any fuse could be the problem, so make sure to check them all. If one fuse is damaged, be sure to check the others. There could be more than one at fault.

Test Your Spark Plugs

Much like fuses, spark plugs need to be individually tested to ensure they are in working order. However, spark plugs may also be damaged or weak, rather than simply non-functional. You need special equipment in order to safely test spark plugs.

Test Your Fuel Pump and Compression Systems

Testing your fuel pump and other systems once your car refuses to start will take specialized equipment and knowledge. If you have made it this far and none of the above steps have yielded any results, you may have to seek expert help in order to proceed safely through the rest of your systems.

However, you can test for signs of a dead fuel pump. In order to do this, you should be able to turn the car on, without turning the key far enough to make the engine attempt to turn over. Listen closely as you do. Do you hear the same sounds you usually do? Typically, there will be a light buzzing type sound coming from the fuel pump, briefly. That means it’s working. If there is nothing but dead silence, you may have a dead fuel pump.

Conclusion

If your engine cranks but doesn’t start, any number of things could have gone wrong. Still, most of these fixes are relatively easy and things you may want to do as part of a regular maintenance routine. By now, you may have found your issue. If not, please get help from an experienced professional before attempting to remove or replace intricate parts. Further, if you do not have the tools to perform some of the recommended tests, do not try to do so using makeshift methods. This can be dangerous and risk your safety. Always make sure your vehicle is turned off before working on it.

Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery – How To Know Which One Is Not Working?

There are a lot of different parts that keep your car running. And it’s not always easy to tell what the problem is when it stops working. If you’re having car issues, its easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst has happened and that your car will never run again. But instead of going into panic mode, you need to figure out what the problem is. Usually, the issue is with either your alternator or your battery. Bad alternator vs bad battery, how do you tell the difference?

Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery  

Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery

What does the alternator do?

The alternator in your car is in charge of recycling the energy your car battery uses while driving. It not only restores the power that the battery loses, it also powers the engine management, entertainment, climate control, and other systems in your car. Your car requires a lot of power to run. And thanks to your alternator, your battery is able to be replenished while your driving, which keeps you moving forward. Think of the alternator as being responsible for cycling the power within your engine as you drive. If you didn’t have an alternator to preform this function your car battery would quickly run out of power and the engine would die.

What does the battery do?

Your battery is also another essential part of your car. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to start or keep your car running.

The battery gives you car a jolt of electrical energy when needed to power the electrical components of your car. This is clear when you start your car, if the battery isn’t working then the car won’t start at all.

Car batteries are designed to last about 3 to 5 years, so if you’ve had your car longer than that and haven’t changed the battery it may be a good idea to get your battery checked.

How to know which one isn’t working? Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery

So now you know what the alternator and the battery do in your car. They are both essential parts that help your car function. But if you’re car isn’t working how do you know which one is the cause? Well there are a few signs that will help you determine the answer to that.

To tell if it’s a bad battery, first try starting the car. If it won’t start and you hear a low humming noise or clicking sound, this is a good indicator that the battery is the issue. Also, check the battery gauge, even when the car is on but the engine isn’t running the battery should still be powering the lights, windshield wipers, automatic windows, etc.

Another good idea is to get a rag and wipe any corrosion off of your battery. Then try starting your car again. After you’ve done that and the car still wont start try jumping the car. After you let it run for a little while, turn the car off and try to restart it as normal. If it still doesn’t turn on, this means there is an issue with the battery because while the car was running the alternator was able to supply the battery with power. But once it was turned off the battery was no longer working again. It’s normal as batteries age that they retain less charge. After enough time, the battery wont be able to hold enough power to start the car, so it’s time to get a new one. If your battery can recharge, using the best battery tender is good way to to it.

Now you know how to tell if it’s a bad battery, so how do you tell if it’s a bad alternator? If the previous steps showed that the battery was working, meaning after you jump started your car and turned it off you were able to turn it on again normally, then it’s time to check the alternator. Some signs of a bad alternator are dim lights on your dashboard, your headlights changing brightness as you accelerate and stop, a smell of burning rubber or hot wires, or a growling sound. Also, check your dashboard for a warning light that might indicate an issue with the alternator. But this may not always get trigger or may not be available on older cars. If you see any of these warning signs, it’s a good indicator that the issue is with your alternator and you need to get it checked.

What to do?

So, what should you do if you have a bad alternator vs bad battery? After you’ve determined where the issue is, you should take it to a mechanic to see what can be done. You will most likely have to replace the faulty part. Depending on your car, the year it was made, and other factors one issue may be more costly to repair than others. Batteries usually cost between $50-$200 depending on what kind of battery you get. Alternators are more expensive, ranging from $400-$1000 and up. So, although the symptoms of a bad battery and bad alternator may be similar, the cost to fix the problem is not.

Conclusion

Now you know what car batteries and car alternators do. They are crucial parts of your engine that keep your car running and in good working order. And now you know how to tell the difference between a bad alternator vs bad battery. When your car isn’t running right, it’s easy to notice. However, it’s not always as easy to figure out the reason why it’s not running properly. Being able to distinguish the key warning signs of whether or not the issue is with your alternator or your battery will help you figure out what you need to do next to fix your car. A battery can be a simple, and affordable fix while an accelerator can be a little more costly. But after reading this article you should have all the knowledge you need to be able to tell if its your alternator or your battery that is the problem. And then you can work on getting it fixed from there.

 

Can Alkaline Batteries Be Recharged?

You probably use batteries for a lot of items in your day-to-day life. Batteries help power a lot of our household items. In fact, there are a lot of things we couldn’t do without batteries.

Alkaline batteries are just one type of battery, but they are often preferred because they have a longer shelf life and higher energy density than their non-alkaline counterparts.

But using them once and them throwing them away seems like a waste, especially if you’re spending a lot on batteries. Which begs the question can alkaline batteries be recharged?

Before we dive into that question, let’s quickly go over the different types of batteries. You have Alkaline, lithium-ion (Li-ion), Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Lead-Acid, and Nike-Metal Hydride (NiMH). These are the most common types of batteries available that you will find on the market today.

Can Alkaline Batteries Be Recharged?

What Is an Alkaline Battery?

Now let’s look at what an alkaline battery is. Any battery is a cell that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. There are 3 main components of a typical dry cell battery, the positively charged anode, the negatively charged cathode and an electrolyte. When the electrolyte reacts with the anode and cathode the anode tends to lose electrons and the cathode gains electrons. This creates a surplus of electrons at the negative end and a deficit of electrons at the positive end of the battery, which creates electrical pressure called voltage. This voltage is what creates a batteries power.

The different type of electrolyte that is used is what makes each type of battery different. An alkaline battery has a zinc anode and a manganese dioxide cathode. The electrolyte is non-acidic. This differs from non-alkaline batteries, which have an acidic-based electrolyte. Now that you know all the technical stuff, the main takeaway is that alkaline batteries tend to perform better than non-alkaline batteries but they are also more expensive. However non-alkaline batteries are still dependable and can supply sufficient power as well.

Can Alkaline Batteries Be Recharged?

So can alkaline batteries be recharged? The answer is yes and no.

Technically speaking, any battery can be recharged. In order for a battery to be rechargeable, it must have an underlying chemical change the occurs during an electrical discharge that can be reversed by applying an opposite electrical charge to the cell. Which means that an alkaline battery qualifies for this, as it has chemical process that can be reversed.

However, just be cause an alkaline battery can be recharged, doesn’t necessarily mean that it should. Many batteries are specifically designed to be rechargeable and they are clearly labeled as such. But you won’t find many alkaline batteries labeled as rechargeable, for a few different reasons which we’ll cover in the next section.

The Pros and Cons

So now you know that alkaline batteries can be recharged. But what are the pros and cons of doing so?

First let’s look at the cons. One major drawback to recharging alkaline batteries is that their performance decreases with each recharge.

Most batteries will loose some of their power after being recharged, but the lose is much more significant with alkaline batteries. Which also means that alkaline batteries cannot be recharged as many times as other rechargeable batteries.

Some batteries can be recharged hundreds of times, whereas an alkaline battery can really only be recharged a dozen times or so.

Also, as with all batteries when they are recharged they can cause the production of gas, which can create high pressure within the battery cell causing it to bust and leak. This issue is much more common with alkaline batteries than other batteries.

Even alkaline batteries that are labeled as rechargeable still require a special charger. You can’t use other battery chargers; it must be a charger specifically for alkaline batteries. Also, alkaline batteries that are specifically designed to be rechargeable tend to have less capacity than true alkaline batteries, making it more effective to just use other types of batteries.

But there are still some advantages to recharging alkaline batteries. Because alkaline batteries have a higher voltage normally, even once they are recharged they still maintain a higher voltage than other batteries. They also have a longer shelf life than other batteries; so recharging them extends that even further. They also have a slower self-discharge and have fewer toxic metals making them more environmentally friendly.

What to do?

So, can you recharge your alkaline batteries? Yes, and some are even marketed as rechargeable alkaline batteries. However, you may not gain much value by recharging them. The amount of power that you loose when recharging an alkaline battery and the higher risk for leakage both seem like pretty good reasons not to recharge your alkaline batteries. Not to mention, you need to make sure that you have a special charger and are using batteries that are designed to be recharged. It is not recommended to recharge batteries that are not labeled as rechargeable. Ultimately, the decision is up to you whether you want to recharge your alkaline batteries or not, however keep in mind everything we’ve discussed here.

Conclusion

Now you know how batteries work and what alkaline batteries are. And you also know whether or not they are rechargeable. The answer to that question is yes, but whether or not you really need to recharge them is another question entirely.

Only recharge batteries that are labeled as rechargeable, whether they are alkaline or not.  There are a lot of other good options out there for batteries that are rechargeable.

If you really must recharge your alkaline batteries, you can but be sure that you have a special charger. And make sure you’re aware that they will loose voltage and can also have high risks for leaks. And no one wants a leaky battery. After reading this article, all of your questions about recharging batteries should be answered. And hopefully you have a better understanding of how batteries work and which batteries you can and should recharge.

What Happens When A Rack And Pinion Goes Out?

Your steering system is a very important part of your car. Most people think of the engine and brake system as being important, but the steering system plays a vital role as well.

If you can’t steer your car, then how are you supposed to drive it? Well, the answer is you can’t. All the systems of a car work together to make the car useable and if any fail, then the car will not work right.

Your steering system is just one of those systems, but it is one that is overlooked a lot of times until there is a problem. One of the main and biggest problems that can happen with your steering system is the steering rack and pinion going out.

In this article, we will explain what happens when the steering rack and pinion fail and also signs to help you notice it before it occurs so you can prevent it.

What Happens When A Rack And Pinion Goes Out

What Happens When A Rack And Pinion Goes Out?

What does it do?

Before going into what happens when the steering rack and pinion fail we will first explain what the steering rack and pinion is and what it does.

The rack and pinion steering system in most vehicles is actually multiple parts. The main part is the gearbox in the middle. The more common name for the gearbox is the steering rack.

The steering rack is the part that receives direct input from the driver. It is what the steering column goes into, and when the driver turns the wheel, it is the steering rack that sends the proper information to the other parts of the steering system.

The steering rack is the heart of the steering system, and all the other parts connect to it. The other parts are revered to as the pinions.

This includes universal joints, main and intermediate shafts, and other things such as the tie rod. These parts can also wear out over time but isn’t as major as when the steering rack goes out.

So now that you know that the steering rack is the main component of the steering system, you may really be wondering what happens if it fails, or if some of the pinions fail.

The steering rack is the part that receives direct input from the driver

The steering rack is the part that receives direct input from the driver

What happens if steering rack or pinion fails?

Well, if the steering rack fails completely, then major issues occur. The most important thing that happens if the steering rack completely goes out is that you will lose control of the car.

That is because turning the wheel will have no effect. If the steering rack is out completely and not making contact with other parts, then it can’t send the information needed to the other parts of the car as you try to steer.

If the steering rack is just starting to go out though and hasn’t failed completely, then it will just be hard to steer. Depending on what is wrong with the steering rack will determine how hard it is to steer the vehicle and also how much it will cost to fix.

If a pinion or other part of the steering system fails completely, then again you can lose complete control of the steering. This is because the system might be broken to the point of not working.

If however, just a pinion component is starting to fail, then the steering might be harder. There are a lot of different signs though that you can pay attention to, to notice if the steering system is starting to fail.

Paying attention for the things to follow is important because if the steering system goes out while driving, then there is a good chance you will wreck. That is why it is key to pay attention to the following things and fix a minor problem before it becomes a major one.

Signs Steering Rack or Pinion is Starting to Fail

One of the first things you might notice when the steering rack or pinion is failing is tight steering. The steering might get to the point of being very tight. This is especially true if your car has power steering.

If your car doesn’t have power steering, then it might not tighten up as much. The reason tight steering is a sign of problems is that it means that the gearbox might be getting too hot or that there is not enough power steering fluid getting to it.

Also, tight steering can mean a loss of hydraulic pressure to the steering. If you notice tight steering, then you should have your car checked out. A lot of times the problem is minor and easy to fix if caught early.

An obvious sign of problems with the steering system is leaking power steering fluid. The power steering fluid is what helps lubricate the system and also helps with the hydraulic pressure.

If it is leaking, then the steering will not act right, and also there is an obvious problem as it should not leak. Leaking fluid could mean a part has a hole in it or that there is a break in the system preventing it from being sealed.

If you repair the leak early, then most other things should be fine, but if you drive with low power steering fluid, then it will damage more parts of the system.

Any fluid under your car is a sign for concern, that is why you should keep an eye on these types of things, and if you notice a leak from anywhere in your vehicle, then you should have it checked out and fixed.

The next issue can be caused by a variety of things in the steering system, but it is grinding sounds while steering. These sounds can occur at any speed from slow to fast and can mean different things depending on when they happen.

The key thing to remember though is that your car should not make noise when steering. If your car does make any kind of grinding, squealing, whining, or any other type of sound while steering, then it means issues are going on.

Normally it means that something is worn out, but replacing it early will prevent other things from getting damaged and prevent bigger problems.

The last sign of a steering rack or pinion failing is a burning oil smell. This is less common than most of the others, but still a sign that there is a problem.

That is because power steering fluid burning normally smells like burnt oil, so if you smell this smell and it is coming from the steering system, then it likely means that the gearbox is getting too hot.

If the gearbox gets too hot, this can lead to fire and major damage. That is why if you notice this smell and think it is the gearbox and not oil burning that you pull over and investigate the problem.

Let the gearbox cool off before driving again and get the vehicle to a mechanic to have it looked at.

Conclusion

So, now you know what happens when the power steering rack and pinion goes out. You know that if they go out completely that you will lose control of the vehicle and wreck.

You also know though that normally they don’t go out all at once, but instead, minor things start to happen like noises and tight steering.

If you notice any of these things, then you now know to have your vehicles steering system checked out and the problem fixed before it gets worse.

A lot of time the steering system is not too expensive to fix and caught early. However, if you let the problem go on the fixes can get expensive and be dangerous. If the power steering rack fails completely, then you are in trouble.

How To Bleed Air From Abs Module?

Whenever you change a part of the brake system, you will need to bleed the brake system afterward. This means removing all the air in the system.

The reason you have to bleed the brakes is that air is compressible and if there is air in the system, then the brake pedal will feel soft.

The reason the brake pedal will be soft and mushy is that the air will have to be pushed out of the way before the fluid can do what it is supposed to do.

This can be dangerous because it means that it will take longer to stop. Most of the time bleeding brakes isn’t too hard, but what if air gets in the ABS Module. Well, bleeding the ABS module can be a bit more of a challenge, but this article will explain how to do it.

How To Bleed Air From Abs Module

How to bleed air from Abs module?

How to bleed brakes?

Before going into how to bleed the ABS module, we will first briefly explain how to bleed the brakes. This is because you might think you have air in the module, but it is really in another part of the system.

It is best to make sure that the rest of the system is free of air first before trying to bleed the ABS module because bleeding the ABS module can be a challenge for someone to do on their own.

For bleeding the air out of the brake system itself, it also helps to have a partner.

The way you bleed air out of the brake system is by opening the bleeder valves at the proper time. You want to make sure you have clean fluid ready first though before bleeding the lines however you want to open all the bleeder valves and let them drain.

You also want to suck out all the old fluid from the master cylinder. Once the master cylinder is empty, you can add in new fluid. To get the rest of the old fluid in the air out though you will need a partner to make it easier.

You put the hose that you are bleeding into some fresh brake fluid. Then you have your helper depress the brake pedal with enough force to stop at a light.

It is best to make sure that the rest of the system is free of air first before trying to bleed the ABS module

It is best to make sure that the rest of the system is free of air first before trying to bleed the ABS module

After they depress the brake you loosen the bleeding valve a quarter turn. This will suck new fluid in and cause some old fluid to come out once old fluid stops coming out close the bleeder and have the person lift their foot off the brake.

You repeat this process until fresh, clean fluid comes from the system.

Depending on the vehicle you will want to start with a certain brake line either the front or the back. This is due to how the system is set up, and there is the most efficient way to bleed the system.

You will have to look up the information depending on the make, model, and year of your car. If bleeding the brake system like this though doesn’t fix the problem of mushy brakes though or you know the ABS module has air in it, then you will have to bleed it.

Bleeding ABS Module

Bleeding the ABS module is more of a challenge than just bleeding the brake system because the ABS module has a lot of chambers and moving parts in it.

Most ABS modules do have bleeding valves, but a lot of times these aren’t enough to get all the air out. Depending on where the air is trapped though will determine how hard it is to bleed the ABS module.

The first thing to do to bleed the ABS module is to start the car or turn the key to where the battery is on. Then you need to depress the brake pedal. It is important the system is under pressure before doing this to help force the air out.

After the brake pedal is depressed to loosen the brake sensor. This will cause lights to come on the dash which is what is supposed to happen. After you loosen it to keep the brake depressed and tighten it back. This should allow the air out and cause the lights to go off.

Bleeding the ABS module is more of a challenge than just bleeding the brake system

Bleeding the ABS module is more of a challenge than just bleeding the brake system

If the air is trapped farther in the system though you will need a special tool to get the air out, different vehicles require different dealer tools that plug into the OBD2 port. Some OBD2 scanners can do the same thing.

The tool cycles the different valves while the brakes are under pressure to help allow air to come out. Then the new brake fluid can go in which in turn forces more air out.

After using a tool to cycle the valves, you will then need to bleed the brake lines again manually. That is because most of the air out of the ABS module is going to go into them.

Can you do it at home?

So, this leads to the question of can you bleed the ABS module at home? Well, the answer is yes you technically can, but it is hard. That is because the special tool that is required is expensive.

You can buy one and like has been mentioned the top of the line OBD2 scanners can also normally do what is required, but it is costly.

Also, it is hard to do at home because in order to get to the bleeding valves on the ABS module you will normally need the car in the air. This is because it can be a tight squeeze to get a wrench to it.

It can even be a challenge to manually bleed the rest of the brake system at home for the same reason. Sometimes ramps are enough to allow you to get to what you need to, but space can be a challenge bleeding brakes at home without the car in the air.

Conclusion

So, now you know how to bleed the ABS module yourself at home, however, you also now know that it is a hard task to do at home.

That is because it can be hard to reach the bleeder valves with the car on the ground and also that it takes a special tool to cycle the valves in the ABS module to let the air out.

You also know that before bleeding the ABS module that you should bleed the rest of the brakes to just make sure the air isn’t in them and also to bleed the rest of the brakes after bleeding the ABS module since air from the module will go into them.

If you can get the equipment to bleed your brakes and the ABS module at home, then you can do it to save money, however, if you don’t work on cars a lot you might just want to let a shop bleed your ABS module since it requires a special tool.

Now you know all you need to know though so you can make the best decision you can when it comes to bleeding your brakes the next time you get air in them.

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